Indian Navy's MARCOS Secure Cargo Ship Targetted By Pirates, Evacuate All Crew Including 15 Indians; Videos Of Daring Operation Released

Indian Navy's MARCOS Secure Cargo Ship Targetted By Pirates, Evacuate All Crew Including 15 Indians; Videos Of Daring Operation Released

The videos released by the Indian Navy showed the MARCOS boarding the MV Lila Norfolk in the North Arabian Sea to thwart the hijacking attempt by the pirates. One of the videos showed the elite commandos sanitising the decks of the cargo ship.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Saturday, January 06, 2024, 09:38 AM IST
article-image
MARCOS securing hijacked cargo ship | X/@@indiannavy

In a high-voltage high-sea drama in the North Arabian sea off the Somalia coast, Marine Commandos from Indian Warship INS Chennai intercepted and boarded hijacked Liberian Merchant Ship MV Lila Norfolk to rescue 21 crew, 15 of them Indians, on Friday afternoon.

The elite Marine commandos, abbreviated MARCOS, intercepted the MV Lila Norfolk via speedboats, by which time the pirates had abandoned the vessel and made good their escape, warned by Indian Maritime Patrol Aircraft which was keeping tabs on the vessel.

The crew had locked themselves inside the citadel, a designated strong room designed to withstand pirates' attempts to take merchant seamen hostage; the room has communication equipment as well.

The bulk carrier had sent a distress May Day signal indicating that five to six armed pirates had hijacked the vessel on Thursday night, about 460 nautical miles east off Somalia, enroute to Khalifa Bin Salman port, Bahrain, from Port Du Aco in Brazil.

MARCOS Storm Hijacked Ship

The marine commandos were rushed on stealth destroyer INS Chennai to render assistance to the stricken merchant vessel. After the marines had evacuated the crew from the citadel, they made sure that no pirate was on board and that the vessel was sanitised.

With the crew back in control, the ship will now resume its course to Bahrain, though on reduced speed, with Indian Navy personnel steering the vessel. INS Chennai is in the vicinity rendering support, having restored the power generation and propulsion.

"Indian Navy responded swiftly to the hijacking attempt and INS Chennai diverted from Anti Piracy patrol intercepted the merchant vessel on Friday afternoon. The hijacked ship was kept under continuous surveillance using Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Predator MQ9B and integral helicopters. Marine Commandos secured the hijacked vessel and ensured all crew were safe and accounted. Sanitisation of the vessel is in progress," confirmed Indian Navy spokesperson.

Alarming Trends Of Hijack Incidents In Recent Times

The Indian defence establishment has expressed alarm at the frequency of hijacking and attacks on commercial shipping in the Indian Ocean region, which is inching closer to Indian territorial waters.

Last week a Maltese-flagged tanker MV Ruen was attacked by pirates and hijacked in the Arabian Sea 700 miles from Indian coast. Last month vessels headed to India MV Chem Pluto and MV Sai Baba were also targeted.

The hijacking of commercial ships and attempted hijackings by suspected pirates near the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea regions resumed last month after a six-year lull. Pirates and rebels got a free rein in the Arabian Sea after US naval forces diverted their attention to the Red Sea to thwart Houthi attacks, said maritime security expert and former naval commander Vivek Singh.

Indian Navy has deployed Guided Missile Destroyers, INS Mormugao, INS Kochi and INS Kolkata in the Arabian Sea to maintain a deterrent presence following spate of drone and missile attacks in the Indian Ocean region. Indian Navy has tasked long range maritime reconnaissance P8I aircraft to maintain domain awareness.

RECENT STORIES

Delhi Shocker: Man Opens Fire Indiscriminately Killing Cop & Injuring Another Youth; Later Shoots...

Delhi Shocker: Man Opens Fire Indiscriminately Killing Cop & Injuring Another Youth; Later Shoots...

Chattisgarh: Cops To Offer ₹5 Lakh Reward And Jobs For Inputs On Naxals

Chattisgarh: Cops To Offer ₹5 Lakh Reward And Jobs For Inputs On Naxals

SC Grants Baba Ramdev A Week To Take Redeeming Steps In Patanjali Misleading Advertisement Case

SC Grants Baba Ramdev A Week To Take Redeeming Steps In Patanjali Misleading Advertisement Case

Hit-&-Run Horror: Biker's Body Transported 18 KM On Car Roof In Andhra Pradesh's Ananthapuramu

Hit-&-Run Horror: Biker's Body Transported 18 KM On Car Roof In Andhra Pradesh's Ananthapuramu

Union Minister Parshottam Rupala Files Nomination Papers Amid Kshatriya Controversy

Union Minister Parshottam Rupala Files Nomination Papers Amid Kshatriya Controversy